I love articles that highlight the transition we are all undergoing to this new digital age. Heck, my consulting work is now based on this trend. My peers, mainly aging ‘boomers’ are coping as best they can in mastering ‘the Google.’ In the NYT yesterday we got a look of retro sorts regarding textbooks at colleges.
“In a Digital Age, Students Still Cling to Paper Textbooks” showed that even our offspring are not ‘going quietly into that good night’ of digital conversion. Last year we saw the first of the colleges, now a trend, who issue iPods, MacBooks, and now iPads to their incoming students. This is to afford better and faster communications between students and their profs. No more printed syllabuses, and office hours are facilitated with instant email access from anywhere the student is, to anywhere their prof is. Office hours are now changing for all of us.
The surprising thing is that the article points out that many students are still hanging on to their printed textbooks over digital versions loaded onto their new computers and iPads. The trend was that everything would be electronic, but that appears not to be the case. Many just prefer to have something they can mark up, take notes in, and keep for future use when off in their careers.
The National Association of College Stores show that digital books make up just 3 percent of textbook sales, though they expect that to grow to 15 percent within a couple of years. Why so low? Johnathon Piskor from North Carolina says – “I believe that the codex (book) is one of mankind’s best inventions. This is going to be an uphill battle for the ebook sellers if that is the prevailing attitude.
I have tried both using Kindle. I love pleasure books in digital form, but most of my business books I still buy in print form. Just like the students, I need to mark them up for future reference in my practice. Nice to know we still have options. Codex rule! Analogs Rule! Now back to my book.